NORFOLK, Va. – The Old Dominion men’s soccer team is one win away from from becoming Conference USA champions for the second time in four years. This is the Monarchs sixth trip to their conference tournament final under head coach Alan Dawson. Four of the six were when the team was still in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
After going 2-and-4 in the month of October, the Monarchs have not lost in November. Goalkeeper Mertcan Akar has been dominate between the posts with three of his eight shutouts in that span.
The team is hosting the C-USA championships this week and it is only fitting that they are playing their best soccer on their home pitch. Coming into the conference tournament as the second seed, the Monarchs sent South Carolina home early with two goals in the second half to win 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Tom Wustenberg scored his first career goal as a Monarch and Jimmy Filerman blasted a left foot screamer to knock the Gamecocks out of the tournament.
The Monarchs advanced to the conference final with a 1-0 win over sixth seed Marshall on Friday. Max Wilschrey scored his seventh goal of the year and his team leading third game winning goal. “I thought they really pulled us apart in the first half,” Dawson said after the victory which gave the coach his 230th win with the Monarchs, “I thought we did a much better job in the second half. We executed the game plan in the second half. Obviously getting the early goal was huge.”
Old Dominion will face the fourth seed Charlotte in the conference final on Sunday. The 49ers shocked the undefeated one seed Florida International with a 3-1 victory on Friday to advance. Old Dominion beat Charlotte earlier this season in a wild 2-1 game on October 6th.
Conference USA men’s soccer championship is Sunday at 1pm at Old Dominion Soccer Complex.